Wednesday, April 15, 2015

IS HINDUISM SUPERSTITIOUS AND HOW ABOUT OTHER RELIGIONS? PART 1

Before I go deep into the subject, it is apt if I discuss some observations I recorded in my mind during my 60+ odd years of life. With technology reaching each household and free expression gaining momentum, discussion is raging in India about Hinduism, pitfalls of its traditions,  superstitions in the religion , if calling India a Hindu Rashtra is renegade and how other religions are superior to Hinduism, in as far as they are not superstitious and are free from idol worship. Before I dwell upon the first part whether Hinduism is retrograde, let me speak about other religions and their own form of worship and the way they keep people superstitious and in a constant fear pychosys of the Devil or Satan or the Kafirs.


Till age 20, I never moved of my hometown nor traveled far. Many of my close friends were Muslims, who used to love me for my brightness in studies. Later, I moved to Hyderabad for a clerical job in LIC. In Hyderabad, opposite Narayanguda bus stop, where Kishore Theater came up later, in the corner there used to be a small shop owned by a devout, bearded muslim. Soonafter he completed his evening Namaz, there used to collect a crowd of people in front of his shop, of all religions. He was selling bread and eggs etc., These people were not customers of his shop but coming for a magic cure. In line, one by one used to go to him, narrate their problems or ailment. The bearded man used to turn the bead-garland in his hand, read something in Urdu or Arabic, hit the head of the sufferer thrice, spray a little ash on his/her face and dispose them off. He was not collecting any money and from those who offered money he was politely refusing, saying he was performing a duty ordained by the Allah. Is this a superstition? I call it faith. Faith in the man. Are these cured? God alone knows. You ask any Doctor. He says that our faith more than medicine cures the ailment. It is not superstition but God ordained diktat. Draw a line.

At 32, I moved to Warangal town as a manager of a bank. As I was visiting the town as part of my duty, I observed one Christian priest standing on a very high stool (four feet) with a Bible in his hand. Unconcerned with the noise in the traffic or whether anyone is stopping to hear him, he used to read from the pages of Bible and give a discourse hardly audible to anyone. Is this superstition? Is it his own Faith in the Messenger of God that He will come down and convert a few other religionists to his own religion? Obviously he is paid for it. So, more than anything it must be his faith that as long as he bears the heat, rain and cold and read the Holy Book, his and the stomachs of his family will be full. This man was seen in various town circles day after day. Draw a line.


Back in Hyderabad, my neighbour was a devout Christian who was denouncing Hinduism and the practices. Incidentally, he was a clerk working under me. For auspicious Muhurat,  for every function, to admit his children in school, for vaastu advice, for his astrological predctions, for marriage comppatibility of relations in his family etc., he invariably used to come to me for advice and was following scrupulously whatever I told. Is it superstition or faith that as a devout Brahmin, I would give saner advice than his own Priests? Draw a line.

There used to be an officer in my branch back in Warangal, who was a devout Muslim doing Namaz five times a day and observing all his religious duties with sincerity. He had been asset to me in the Branch as he was educated, sincere, intelligent and hardworking. So, when I moved to Nizamabad Branch as Manager (where my career ended), I used my influence with the management and got him to Nizamabad, one reason being I wanted him and the other he wanted to work only under me. He was relieved from Vizag on an auspicious day fixed by me but when he reached Nizamabad he did not find an auspicious day to go to his quarters. So he requested me to accomadate him, his wife and son in my house. My wife was too orthodox at that time but she did not object. He stayed with me for one week. Here, who is more superstitious? Draw a line.

The same officer, who suffered from severe jaundice attack in Warangal and was not in a position to be shifted to his native Khammam, stayed with us a week. He was vomitting continuously and my wife and me were continuously cleaning his vomit. Are we superstitius or communal? Draw a line.

Turn on any TV news channel where discourses of a particular religion are telecast non-stop. A part of this is miracle cure. A person, supposedly suffering from migraine for decades comes to the stage, the priest says something in his/her local dialect and hits him/her on the head. he/she falls down and gets up after a while. Priest asks, ' How are you?' He/she smiles broadly and says, ' WoW! I spent lakhs on the cure. Jesus saved me in seconds. It is gone. Gayab.Halle Luujhaa!' Is it called blind faith or superstition? Draw a line.


These are few instances of other religionists too following a faith but we never call it superstition. In the next part, I will deal with the Hindu faith, that is coined as supersitition and the rationale behind every faith of a Hindu. If anyone has any issue with any other Hindu practice, I will gladly carify the rationale behind it.

Continued in Part 2.